No one ever said that you had to be clever or particularly charismatic to be an Internal Revenue Service (IRS) executive. And it’s a good thing, too, considering that Lois Lerner appears to be completely bereft of both. This is the woman who was compelled to testify before the Senate hearings on the targeting scandal and ended up pleading the Fifth in order to avoid answering any uncomfortable questions and incriminating herself. She then immediately turned around and made a big speech about how this whole episode was a witch hunt and how she was the actual target, blah, blah, blah…
That, of course, led many legal and Constitutional experts to immediately note that in making a statement AFTER invoking her Fifth Amendment rights had in effect revoked such rights, opening her up to the possibility of being recalled as a witness, which she inevitably was.
The documents that were compiled of her testimony, as well as that of Holly Paz, her deputy executive in that office, are now the focus of an attempt by Lerner and Paz to seal the transcripts, IN PERPETUITY, so that they may be kept safe from retaliatory threats and actions that their attorneys assure the courts are in weekly occurrence.
Former IRS executive Lois G. Lerner told a federal court last week that members of her family, including “young children,” face death threats and a real risk of physical harm if her explanation of the tea party targeting scandal becomes public.
Ms. Lerner and Holly Paz, her deputy at the IRS, filed documents in court Thursday saying tapes and transcripts of depositions they gave in a court case this year must remain sealed in perpetuity, or else they could spur an enraged public to retaliate.
“Whenever Mss. Lerner and Paz have been in the media spotlight, they have faced death threats and harassment,” attorneys for the two women argued.
Ms. Lerner and Ms. Paz gave taped depositions in a class-action lawsuit brought by tea party groups demanding answers and compensation for having been subjected to illegal targeting for their political beliefs.
The government settled the class-action lawsuit in Ohio and another tea party challenge in the District of Columbia in two agreements last month, admitting to the illegal behavior. The Ohio settlement also called for the government to pay $3.5 million to the tea party groups, according to one of the plaintiffs.
Ms. Lerner came in for particular criticism, with the government admitting she not only didn’t stop the targeting — contradicting the Obama administration’s claims — but also hid it from her superiors in Washington.
Here is where I take issue with the whole notion that the Obama administration was not privy to this targeting. This administration knew everything that was going on, from the Uranium One, to Fast & Furious, to Benghazi, to the IRS targeting scandal and always claimed ignorance. For as many things as this administration was given credit for by the Fake News Industrial Complex, it is a marvel that they were literally so blind and dumb to the machinations of the government and world around them.
Hillary Clinton is sort of in the same boat. How many times during her hearings on Benghazi did she claim not to know, not to have been aware, or to have suffered convenient amnesia at critical moments?
The Obama administration in a sense reminds me of the Jack Nicholson character in A Few Good Men where they were positive that if they could just needle him on the stand that he was not in control of his recruits or his subordinates that he would eventually crack. With Obama, it appears that the tactic of making him appear weak, ineffectual, and clouded in judgment has worked in his favor. In fact, he embraced that perception and ran with it, birthing the new Limbaugh Theorem and proving that you don’t have to really claim any victories as a Leftist to be held up as victorious, nor do you have to take blame to be held blameless.
During the course of the Ohio case, the tea party groups filed thousands of pages of documents, but testimony from Ms. Lerner and Ms. Paz was left out of the public record because of their earlier request for privacy.
Now Ms. Lerner and Ms. Paz say that since the case has been settled, there is no reason for their testimony to ever become public.
“The voluminous record of harassment and physical threats to Mss. Lerner and Paz and their families during the pendency of this litigation provides a compelling reason to seal the materials,” the women’s attorneys said.
They particularly blamed Mark Meckler, a tea party leader whose organization helped fund the class-action lawsuit, saying he helped stoke the threats against them by calling IRS agents “criminal thugs.”
“These words matter. They have created a fertile environment where threats and harassment against Mss. Lerner and Paz have flourished,” the lawyers said.
And here is the way Leftists always turn things around and blame the victims. They did so, if you remember, with all the female accusers of Bill Clinton, where Mrs. Clinton herself led the charge against the credibility of all these women, claiming that they were being led by the nose by the Republicans.
Here, Lerner and Paz (through their attorneys) are actually blaming those who were wronged as…what? Bringing it on themselves?
Mr. Meckler laughed when he learned about the filing.
“Four years of harassing innocent American citizens for their political beliefs, and she’s scared of a guy in a cowboy hat talking to a bunch of little old ladies at a tea party event?” he said, recounting the speech where he called IRS agents “thugs.”
He said if the depositions didn’t show any bad action on her part, then Ms. Lerner should have nothing to fear from their release to the public.
“The reality is because she knows she is guilty as the day is long and she doesn’t want people to know what she actually did,” he said.
“It’s hard to have any sympathy for the women. And frankly, I don’t believe she’s genuinely scared,” Mr. Meckler said.
Exactly right. When has there ever been a Leftist afraid that a Conservative might pop off and go nuts? It doesn’t happen. It’s exactly why, when reporters earlier in the year were bemoaning the fact that Trump supporters were booing them and giving them a thumbs-down, that they pretended (as best they could) to be fearful for their lives. As was pointed out time and time again at these rallies, the Trump supporters booed while smiling and laughing, and most of them were old men and old ladies who were having a little fun at the expense of CNN and MSNBC.
Lerner never feared that a Conservative would attack her or her family. She knows, just like most Leftists know, that if you want a violent act to be initiated, you go to a registered Democrat. That’s what Hillary did when she contracted with Bob Creamer to hire thugs to go out and rough up Trump supporters at his rallies in order for the FNIC to proclaim on the nightly news that Trump was inciting riots. Or they would pay homeless men to go and shove someone in line for a $100. Democrats are the instigators. Conservatives just clean up after them.
The Trump administration backs making the documents public, according to court documents, which leaves Ms. Lerner and Ms. Paz fighting a rearguard action.
So far, they have had Judge Michael R. Barrett on their side. As the case was proceeding, he kept the two IRS employees’ testimony secret at their request, allowing only the lawyers involved to see the information.
Papers filed by the tea party groups’ attorneys repeatedly made reference to their testimony in documents, but it was always redacted.
The Cincinnati Enquirer, a newspaper that covers the Cincinnati office of the IRS that initially handled tea party groups’ applications and that Ms. Lerner initially blamed for the targeting, has been fighting to make her version of events public.
The paper renewed that request last month, the day the government and the tea party groups announced their settlement. The paper has argued that there is no “clear and imminent danger” to Ms. Lerner or Ms. Paz.
In this case, the editors and owners of the paper are making a calculated decision to remain aloof in the situation. If you owned a large company and the IRS was the antagonist, would it behoove you to make waves on that, or simply takes sides with the IRS and hope you’ll avoid an audit the next quarter?
In my book, this woman is a foul creature with nothing but red ink staining her criminally-prone hands and she skated, like all powerful people in the government skate, on charges that would rightly have stuck against anyone that the IRS would have targeted for complete annihilation.
It’s always been a bone of contention for many Libertarians that this IRS organization is nothing but a legalized money laundering corporation for the government with legal powers far beyond anything the Founding Fathers could have envisioned.
Ms. Lerner has refused to talk publicly about her handling of the tea party cases, even being held in contempt of Congress when she botched her assertion of Fifth Amendment rights during testimony.
But the Obama Justice Department refused to prosecute the case, saying it concluded Ms. Lerner’s assertion of Fifth Amendment rights was correct.
Under President Obama, the department, in its own investigation into the IRS handling of tea party cases, also credited Ms. Lerner with being one of the bright spots, saying she attempted to curtail the targeting when she learned of it.
But the government now says that is not true. In its settlement last month, the government says Ms. Lerner not only didn’t stop the targeting, but also hid the behavior from superiors.
Ms. Lerner has yet to comment on that settlement.
And she will not. Don’t hold your breath waiting for any comment on the settlement because as far as she and her powerful friends in the government are concerned, this is over and done with and no amount of cajoling by Tea Partiers or Judicial Watch is ever going to make those records public.
Of course, they could always hire Clinton’s old standby, Sandy Berger, to perhaps break into the National Archives and smuggle the transcripts out in his socks. Perhaps Robert Mueller can investigate the Tea Party for its death threats.
Source: The Washington Times